Understanding Biodiversity Net Gain in the UK

    Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is now mandatory in the UK, requiring developers to leave habitats better than before. Discover in this article the comprehensive guide on how to navigate, measure, and comply with these new regulations, ensuring a positive impact on wildlife and ecosystems.
    Understanding Biodiversity Net Gain in the UK

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    Biodiversity Net Gain introduced in the UK

    The United Kingdom has embarked on a pioneering environmental journey with the introduction of mandatory Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) starting from 12 February 2024. This ground-breaking approach will require developments to improve wildlife habitats and ensure that they are in a measurably better state after development than before. This initiative, embedded in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended by the Environment Act 2021, represents a significant shift towards integrating biodiversity conservation into the planning and development process.

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    Understanding Biodiversity Net Gain

    Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is not just a policy, but a transformational approach that requires major developers to achieve at least a 10% improvement in habitat quality or quantity. The same requirement will be extended to smaller developers from April 2024, and NSIPs at the end of 2025. This ambitious target aims to offset the environmental impact of development and promote a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to land use. Whether it's creating new habitats or enhancing existing ones, BNG aims to ensure that wildlife thrives in the wake of development, setting a new standard for environmental stewardship in England.

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    Measuring and achieving BNG

    The success of BNG depends on a standardized way of measuring biodiversity through Biodiversity Units. These units take into account the size, quality, location and type of habitat and provide a quantifiable measure of biodiversity value. Developers and land managers are encouraged to work closely with ecologists to accurately assess the biodiversity value of their sites and to strategize habitat creation or enhancement. The use of the statutory biodiversity metrics tool is critical in this process, as it provides a clear framework for calculating the biodiversity units required to meet the 10% BNG requirement.

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    Delivering BNG: strategies and responsibilities

    Achieving BNG can be realized through on-site, off-site, or a combination of both methods, with statutory biodiversity credits serving as a last resort. This flexible framework encourages developers to creatively integrate biodiversity improvements into their projects, fostering an environment where economic development and ecological preservation coexist harmoniously. Moreover, the obligation to manage and maintain enhanced habitats for a minimum of 30 years underscores the long-term commitment required to truly achieve a net gain in biodiversity.

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    How 3Bee can help in achieving BNG

    3Bee is the leading naturetech company developing technologies for biodiversity monitoring and protection and it plays a critical role in helping developers and landowners navigate the requirements of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG). For developers, 3Bee simplifies the development and calculation of Biodiversity Net Gain, ensuring that projects not only comply with regulations, but also make a positive contribution to biodiversity. Landowners benefit from 3Bee's expertise in managing and monitoring their land in accordance with the Habitat Management and Monitoring Plan (HMMP), ensuring long-term sustainability and compliance. 3Bee works towards this goal by applying the Element-E Biodiversity Monitoring Protocol. Let's see what it consists of.

    Element-E 3Bee

    Element-E: the Biodiversity Monitoring Protocol for BNG

    Element-E is the biodiversity monitoring protocol developed by 3Bee: an innovative approach based on new technologies and partnerships with renowned universities and research institutes. Element-E is based on bioacoustics and remote sensing: this innovative protocol combines data collection and analysis into a single advanced framework with the aim of providing detailed habitat and biodiversity analysis. By guiding targeted restoration efforts, Element-E enables companies to navigate the complexities of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) and its requirements (e.g. HMMP) with precision and flexibility. Do you want to know more?

    By February 14, 2024
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    Frequently Asked Questions

    Do you have any doubts or other curiosities about this article? Here you will find some insights

    What is Biodiversity Net Gain?

    Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) is not just a policy, but a transformational approach that requires major developers to achieve at least a 10% improvement in habitat quality or quantity. The same requirement will be extended to smaller developers from April 2024, and NSIPs at the end of 2025. This ambitious target aims to offset the environmental impact of development and promote a more sustainable and environmentally friendly approach to land use. Whether it's creating new habitats or enhancing existing ones, BNG aims to ensure that wildlife thrives in the wake of development, setting a new standard for environmental stewardship in England.

    When did BNG become mandatory?

    In England, BNG is mandatory from 12 February 2024 under Schedule 7A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as inserted by Schedule 14 of the Environment Act 2021). Developers must deliver a BNG of 10%. This means a development will result in more or better quality natural habitat than there was before development. For the purposes of BNG, biodiversity value is measured in standardised biodiversity units. A habitat will contain a number of biodiversity units, depending on things like its size, quality, location, type. Biodiversity units can be lost through development or generated through work to create and enhance habitats.

    What does the success of BNG depend on?

    The success of BNG depends on a standardized way of measuring biodiversity through Biodiversity Units. These units take into account the size, quality, location and type of habitat and provide a quantifiable measure of biodiversity value. Developers and land managers are encouraged to work closely with ecologists to accurately assess the biodiversity value of their sites and to strategize habitat creation or enhancement. The use of the statutory biodiversity metrics tool is critical in this process, as it provides a clear framework for calculating the biodiversity units required to meet the 10% BNG requirement.

    How can BNG be achieved?

    Achieving BNG can be realized through on-site, off-site, or a combination of both methods, with statutory biodiversity credits serving as a last resort. This flexible framework encourages developers to creatively integrate biodiversity improvements into their projects, fostering an environment where economic development and ecological preservation coexist harmoniously. Moreover, the obligation to manage and maintain enhanced habitats for a minimum of 30 years underscores the long-term commitment required to truly achieve a net gain in biodiversity.

    How 3Bee can help in achieving BNG?

    3Bee is the leading naturetech company developing technologies for biodiversity monitoring and protection and it plays a critical role in helping developers and landowners navigate the requirements of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG). For developers, 3Bee simplifies the development and calculation of Biodiversity Net Gain, ensuring that projects not only comply with regulations, but also make a positive contribution to biodiversity. Landowners benefit from 3Bee's expertise in managing and monitoring their land in accordance with the Habitat Management and Monitoring Plan (HMMP), ensuring long-term sustainability and compliance. 3Bee works towards this goal by applying the Element-E Biodiversity Monitoring Protocol. Let's see what it consists of.

    Which is the role of Element-E in achieving the BNG?

    Element-E is the biodiversity monitoring protocol developed by 3Bee: an innovative approach based on new technologies and partnerships with renowned universities and research institutes. Element-E is based on bioacoustics and remote sensing: this innovative protocol combines data collection and analysis into a single advanced framework with the aim of providing detailed habitat and biodiversity analysis. By guiding targeted restoration efforts, Element-E enables companies to navigate the complexities of Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) and its requirements (e.g. HMMP) with precision and flexibility. Do you want to know more?

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